Academic Psychiatry

, Volume 28, Issue 4, pp 292–298

Women and Teaching in Academic Psychiatry


    • Department of PsychiatryUniversity of Michigan
  • Kate Fitzgerald
    • Department of PsychiatryUniversity of Michigan
  • Michelle Riba
    • Department of PsychiatryUniversity of Michigan
Special Feature Article Original Article

DOI: 10.1176/appi.ap.28.4.292

Cite this article as:
Hirshbein, L.D., Fitzgerald, K. & Riba, M. Acad Psychiatry (2004) 28: 292. doi:10.1176/appi.ap.28.4.292


Objective: This article explores past, present, and future issues for women and teaching in academic psychiatry. A small study of didactic teaching responsibilities along faculty groups in one academic psychiatry department helps to illustrate challenges and opportunities for women in psychiatric teaching settings. Background: Although women have comprised half of all medical school admissions for over a decade, tenure-track positions are still largely dominated by men. In contrast, growing numbers of women have been entering academic medicine through clinical-track positions in which patient care and teaching, rather than research, are the key factors for promotion. Thus, the authors hypothesized better representation of clinical-track women in formal, didactic teaching within the medical school setting. Methods: The authors compared the numbers of tenure and clinical-track men and women teaching lectures to medical students and residents at the University of Michigan, Department of Psychiatry. Results: Contrary to the hypothesis, the majority of didactic teaching was done by tenure-track men. Discussion: Possible explanations and remedies for the continuing under-representation of women in academic psychiatry, particularly teaching settings, are explored. Suggestions are made for future areas in which female faculty might have opportunities for participation and leadership.

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© Academic Psychiatry 2004